Not as well-known as Angkor Wat or Angkor Thom, Angkor Borei – a town which is located in Takeo province has several ruins and archaeological digs to be explored. To reach Angkor Borei from Takeo, you will need to take a boat ride for approximately 30 minutes. Along the way there, travelers have chance to see all the plain, as well as the rice fields; and especially, the local daily life on the river. Angkor Borei is very near from neighboring country Vietnam, only 12 km by waterway.
Angkor Borei history
This ancient city was known as an important religious and political settlement of the Kingdom of Funan; and some documents say that it may have been the capital. Funan just existed from 1st century AD to the 6th century. It was the bridge to connect the Indochina region with India and China.
Angkor Borei from Phnom Penh
There are daily tours to Angkor Borei, usually departing from the capital city of Phnom Penh by the morning, after breakfast. It takes more than two hours to drive from Phnom Penh downtown to Takeo province – a quiet town that totally differs from where you just come from.
Angkor Borei tour
After a short cruise to Angkor Borei, you can start your visit with a small museum; which is also named Angkor Borei.
What to expect from this place? A small mini collection of artifacts which was built in 2008 with a Khmer unique architecture, not too much information but interesting to see. I can say the museum is just small, but they have got lots packed into it. It is highly recommended to go there with a local knowledgeable tour guide. The boat trip from Takeo to Angkor Borei costs around US$35 – 40 per person. For the foreigners, you may need to buy a ticket for Angkor Borei Museum too, while locals are able to see the museum without ticket.
After having some overview understanding from the museum, the boat trip takes you further to Phnom Da – an ancient pre-Angkorian temple on a small hill, situated in Prek Ta Phor village. You need to search for the weather before going there since this place is flooded six months yearly, during the rainy season. For those who prefer some off the beaten track experiences, Phnom Da is a charming temple that should not be missed out. Not as majestic as Angkor Wat, this place is a hidden heritage with a stunning view.
It is possible to access the Phnom Da by two staircases and it is better to go up by one and go down by the other to enjoy different scenes. More than a hundred steps might not sound a lot but in the heat and humidity, make sure you have a bottle of water for this hike. Most of the tourists go back after seeing the ruins of Angkor Borei, but if you make the extra 20km to Phnom Da, you have your reward. The journey itself provides more views of the rural areas, small villages, etc. When I came there, travelers paid US$3 to enter the temple.
Angkor Borei Food
The harbor near Angkor Borei Museum is considered as a floating fish market where all the boats gather to sell their fishes. There, you can also find some beverage shops, “local style” with coconut water, syrup with ice. Some kind of Khmer traditional dishes also available for sale. Yet, if you are not a food adventure, think twice before trying them. If you are not too hungry, there are a couple of decent Khmer food restaurants near the waterfront, after the canal that heads to Vietnam, Angkor Borei and Phnom Da. Plenty of cookeries in the area around the Independence Monument may also be found in Takeo.
Suggested Cambodia tours
- Full Day Angkor Wat – Siem Reap Private Tour
- Phnom Penh City Highlights Tour
- Siemreap in Depth 5 days
If you have plenty of time in Phnom Penh, it is a nice idea to spend a day for Angkor Borei and Takeo. A place with rich history and local experiences.
Huyen Nguyen – Travel Specialist